Plastic is incredibly versatile, cheap to produce extremely long-lasting. It’s no surprise that over the years the demand for plastic has increased leading it to become one of the most used materials in our everyday lives.
Plastic's durability is a double-edged sword, as it poses one of the biggest environmental challenges we currently face. The sheer volume of plastic waste generated is overwhelming, and we struggle to find proper ways to fully dispose of it. Sadly, a significant portion ends up in landfills where it can pollute our waterways and oceans, wreaking havoc on wildlife, the environment and people.
Although reading about the plastic pandemic can sometimes leave you feeling powerless, there are simple steps you can take into moving your life to be more in harmony with this world we all share.
Here are our 10 tips on starting your zero-waste and plastic-free journey
1. Start with the basics
The best place to start is by looking at switching out your essentials for plastic-free alternatives. Products like shampoo, toothpaste and toilet rolls are often packaged with unnecessary plastic packaging and are easy to swap out. Many health food and zero-waste stores will have plenty of plastic and package-free alternatives for you to try.
2. Bring your own bag
Did you know that plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to decompose? Bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store is not only an amazing way to cut down on waste but it can also be a fashion statement by showing off your favourite tote bag. Plus, you will never have to deal with that awkward moment when your groceries spill out of your flimsy plastic bag.
3. Reusable water bottles
A great way to begin ditching single-use plastic is to invest in a reusable water bottle. Not only will you be helping the environment but you will also help save money, which is always a welcomed bonus.
4. Think Bamboo, Not Plastic
There are lots of materials that are claimed to be the solution to the plastic problem but knowing which ones are proven to be more sustainable is key. Bamboo is one resource that has proven to be a highly sustainable resource due to its incredibly fast growth rate, durability and its ability to regenerate after being harvested. Bamboo is now being made into everything from toothbrushes to our very own bamboo soap racks.
5. Repurpose, Reuse
Before you throw something away, ask yourself the question, can it be repurposed or upcycled into something new? Old t-shirts can be cut up and used as cleaning rags, glass jars are perfect for storage containers and tin cans can be made into garden planters. Get creative and see what you can come up with.
6. Beauty Without The Plastic
It's possible to enjoy life's luxuries without harming the environment. Many beauty companies now prioritize eco-friendliness and refrain from using plastic in their packaging. Supporting these ethical beauty companies not only helps them thrive but also demonstrates to the beauty industry that the demand for less plastic is real.
7. Take Things One Step At A Time
With so much to learn and research, going plastic-free overnight can seem like a pretty daunting task. The best way to succeed in sticking with this new lifestyle is to take your time and go easy on yourself. Start with the basics and every time you consider buying something new, look to see if there is a more eco-friendly option available.
8. Support Green Companies
With so many companies moving towards becoming greener, we are seeing so many great quality, eco-friendly products appear every day. Choosing to support ethical businesses that avoid excess packaging and plastic helps these companies grow and encourages other companies to follow suit.
9. Shop Local
Shopping locally can also help you cut down on waste. When products are sent long distances, they are often packaged excessively to avoid goods being damaged in transit. As well as cutting down on unnecessary waste, you are also showing your support for your community.
10. Spread the word
Once you have begun your zero waste journey, the best way to make a wider impact is by telling people how easy it is. By sharing your tips and advice you will educate and inspire others to cut down on their waste. Social media is another great way to share your story and to discover others who are on their zero-waste journeys.
At Friendly Soap, we are passionate about protecting the environment and reducing our carbon footprint. Our commitment to sustainability is reflected in our plastic-free packaging and minimal use of materials. This is why we have just launched our new Naked & Natural range; our line of natural soap bars that are completely free from packaging and are available in select health food and zero-waste shops.
As you embark on your zero-waste journey make sure to take your time and enjoy the process. Be proud of the progress you have made, no matter how small, and remember that every new journey starts with that very first step. 👣